The Thermals at Slowdown | Photo Slideshow

photos by Bridget McQuillan | words by Chance Solem-Pfeifer

With the low stage of Slowdown’s front room ruling out any crowd-surfing, The Thermals met the excited Omaha audience right on floor level Monday night — over and over again.

Really, the stage was no object for the Portland-based trio. Time and again, they supplemented the energy of their raucous indie rock by running into the crowd (sometimes with their instruments, in the case of singer/guitarist Hutch Harris) and moshing with a small, but organized minority. At one point, along with drummer Westin Glass, they ran in small, spinning circle.

Following an on-point performance from Omaha’s Pleasure Adapter, The Thermals unleashed a 20-song performance that clocked in around two hours (most of the power pop sprints barely touch three minutes). Among tracks such as "The Sunset" and "Born to Kill" from Desperate Ground — their first album on Saddle Creek — The Thermals played to the most fists in the air when they returned to The Body, The Blood, The Machine.

A crowd including many Saddle Creek employees, the label's owner and a labelmate or two welcomed the band for a charged TGIM concert: "Thank God it's Monday," as bassist Kathy Foster coined. The Portland rockers will return to Omaha in August to play the mainstage of the Maha Music Festival.

See photos from Monday night’s performance below:

Chance Solem-Pfeifer is a Hear Nebraska intern, and Bridget McQuillan is an HN contributor. They choose to be more than just regular ole HNers. Reach them at and